Giveaway Time! And Review and Recipe from Dreena Burton’s “Plant-Powered Families” – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas & Green Beans

June 16, 2015

One of my most favorite things about being a recipe blogger is getting review copies of cookbooks from publishers.  I have a thing for cookbooks – it’s actually getting a bit out of hand.  Need more bookshelves.  Anyway, Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton, one of my favorite vegan authors, is one of the books I get to play with this time and it’s a real treat.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Dreena’s but the one thing that bummed me out in the past was that I had to adapt her recipes to not include oil.  I was thrilled to find she doesn’t use any in her latest work.  Yay!  One of the things I like most about Dreena is how considerate and detailed she is with her recipes.  She clearly spends a lot of time tweaking and getting the ingredients and methods just right to make things as easy as she can for her readers, and she shares tips, tricks and alternatives for many situations.  She adds notes to each recipe with her suggestions for kicking it up, mellowing it out, use this instead of that, or simply adjusting flavors for adults’ or kids’ tastes.Plant-PoweredFamilies_FrontCover_WEB

Dreena has 3 young daughters so she understands the challenges involved in getting healthy food into picky kids who are busy and on the go.  Her recipes in this book are appealing to kids and adults alike with dishes like Sunday Morning Pancakes, Apple-Spice Hemp Muffins, Red Lentil Hummus, Zippy Chickpea and White Bean Dip, Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers, Home Fries, Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites and Banana Butter Ice Cream, just to name a few of many.  The book includes mouth-watering photos, and is laid out really nicely beginning with a section on priming your pantry with plant-based staples, followed by color coded chapters such as Healthy Mornings; Lunch Fixes; Salad Dressings, Sauces and Toppers; Dinnertime; Sweet Treats.  The back of the book has some cool resources like a section on Picky Eaters and how to manage them, School and Lunchbox solutions, Tips for Hosting and Attending Kids’ Parties, Sample Meal Plans and a FAQ’s section.  She didn’t miss a beat with this book – everything is covered, and honestly, you could use this book and none other for your family and be set. My only complaint about this book is that it doesn’t include allergen notations for each recipe, which is pretty lame since it’s easy to do and most books have.

Everything I’ve made from the book has been excellent, and today I’m sharing one of the recipes with you – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans.  I used broccoli because hubby hates green beans but otherwise I stuck to the recipe and it was delicious – and so simple! I will be doing a drawing to give away a free copy of this awesome book.  Tune in to my Facebook page for details on how to win! Enjoy the recipe.BBQSaucyChickpeas








Winner of Better Than Vegan Cookbook Giveaway!

As part of the contest to win Del Sroufe’s new cookbook Better Than Vegan, I asked you to  tell me how many vegan/vegetarian cookbooks you own.  It was fun to see your answers.  I decided I would play along so I counted my veg cookbooks as well.  Let’s just say I’m a bit of a book collector. I love books, period.  I knew I had a bunch of cookbooks but even I was blown away by the number: 54. (Gulp).  This doesn’t even include books that are half informational and half cookbook, or e-books.   Yep…I know, I have a problem.  The worst part is I don’t use them very often since I’m usually determined to create my own recipes.   Geez.

Anyway, on to announcing the randomly chosen winner!  Congratulations to Cynthia Carignan!  She now has 2 veg cookbooks!!  Enjoy, Cynthia!! Thanks to everyone who played along.

“HAPPY HERBIVORE ABROAD” – Interview with the author Lindsay S. Nixon!!

Linsday Nixon is known as the Happy Herbivore, and has written wonderful and successful low-fat, plant-based cookbooks such as Happy Herbivore, Everyday Happy Herbivore and her brand new book Happy Herbivore Abroad.  This girl LOVES travel and has been practically everywhere!  While in far away lands, she still manages to eat and cook strictly plant-based, low-fat meals.  Her newest book is so awesome.  The recipes combine traditional comfort foods from home with international inspiration and stories of her adventures.

As part of a fun book promotion, she’s giving away 31 copies of Happy Herbivore Abroad, 31 days of December.  Exciting!!  I will be choosing a winner on 12/12/12, at 12:12 PST.  All you have to do is LIKE this post between now and then, or if you don’t have Facebook, Subscribe to Blog Updates on this blog .

I was lucky enough to take some of Lindsay’s valuable time and gets answers to a few questions I was curious to know:

Q. How long did it take you to compile the recipes for HHA?

A. I spend about three to four months writing recipes, but then it takes several more months to turn them into an actual book. The whole process is about a year.

Q. Is the book a collection of just your own creations while living abroad, or does it include dishes you ate in restaurants while abroad, that you adapted?  

A. My second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, is a collection of recipes I created while living abroad. This book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, is all international dishes — meals and treats from around the world. Some are classic dishes (like Puttanesca or Penne alla Vodka, or Swedish Meatballs!) that I’ve recreated in a healthy, plant-based way. Others are dishes I ate somewhere while traveling (or saw, but did not eat because it wasn’t plant-based), but then came home and figured out how to make myself. You really get to taste the food of the world with this book!

Q. How many recipes does the new book include?

A. I’m unsure of the exact number- – but over 125.

Q. If you could move permanently to a place you visited, where would it be?

A. My work keeps me from rooting down anywhere for too long, but we are planning to go back to Germany for an extended stay, and the South of France this summer as well. We’ll probably stay in both places for a few months. When I retire in a few years, I plan to live abroad.

Q. What foreign land was the most difficult to eat low-fat, plant-based?

A. I think they were all pretty easy, some easier than others, but I didn’t find any one place particularly difficult.

Q. What foreign destination was the easiest to eat low-fat, plant-based? 

A. Italy was very surprising. Traditional Italian foods lend well to being plant-based, but I assumed everything would be drenched in olive oil. To my surprise, most food is prepared with little to no oil. Oil is on the table (sort of how like salt is on the table in America), and Italians drizzle a little on their food before eating. It made eating low-fat and plant-based a breeze. Italy also has a lot of beautiful fresh produce and produce markets — same with Spain and Croatia, which made eating colorful!

Q. If you could give one tip to travelers determined to stick to their healthy ways of eating, what would it be?

A. Have patience.

Q. Do you have an idea for another cookbook? 

A. I’m scheduled to write three more cookbooks (one a year) and am working on my 4th book now 🙂

If you haven’t already, BUY THIS BOOK!!!!  Or, maybe you’ll be the lucky winner on 12/12/12 at 12:12 PST!  Don’t forget to LIKE or Subscribe!  Thanks!